Facilitator Journal | Issue #0434, March 8, 2010
We often tend to get in our own way when it comes to collaborating and building synergy with others. The term synergy, by the way refers to the possibility of a group being far more creative and effective than the sum of individuals that make it up. Many of the assumptions, attitudes, and habits that block synergy from happening naturally are learned one way or another. Wouldn't it be great if we could clearly name these blocks? This is exactly what I attempt to do in this week's article, Naming Synergy Blocking Attitudes. Note that these attitudes apply to facilitators and participants alike. Let me know what you think by following the comments link at the end of the article.
Facilitating at a Distance coming March 22nd : Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. See details at the end of this issue.
Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration Workshop (JOFC). Our Summer session of the JOFC Workshop is now open for registration! We'll be meeting the week of June 7th in Madison Wisconsin...check out this opportunity to learn an Integrally Informed Approach to Facilitation and Leadership. Click here for details and registration.
New Social Media Facilitation Website. Check out my new site in progress, SocialMediaFacilitation.com. You'll like the short 4-minute video that nicely defines what Social Media is all about for businesses today.
We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community. Please continue to send the wonderful feedback.
Naming Synergy Blocking Attitudes
Unlearn what stands in the way of group synergy
Group Dynamics Skill
We often tend to get in our own way when it comes to collaborating and building synergy with others. The term synergy, by the way refers to the possibility of a group being far more creative and effective than the sum of individuals that make it up. Many of the assumptions, attitudes, and habits that block synergy from happening naturally are learned one way or another. Wouldn't it be great if we could clearly name these blocks? This is exactly what I attempt to do in this week's article, Naming Synergy Blocking Attitudes. Note that these attitudes apply to facilitators and participants alike.
Now I know that unlearning can at times be even more challenging than learning, so I'm going to keep this installment very simple. Here are three attitudes that I think block synergy from happening in groups. I'll explain them briefly then offer some unlearning tips.
My thoughts are important. Did this get your attention? I thought it would. We tend to take our thoughts far too personally at times. We attach our identity to them, stake out positions, and defend them with our very lives. How many millions have been slaughtered over adherence to thoughts that shift like the wind?
I need to make sense. We tend to be reluctant to express our observations, insights, and inklings in groups unless they are fully formed, cogent, and logical. We fear looking silly or stupid and therefore resist sharing something we think may not be understood and accepted.
I need to know what's going to happen. We tend to be afraid of the unknown, of what might happen if. Yet we make up stories that tell us for sure what will happen if, and these stories are almost always negative.
Unlearning the Blocks to Group Synergy
Here are some reframing perspectives intended to help you unlearn the barriers pointed out above.
Your thoughts are just thoughts. Now I'm not saying your thoughts can't be useful, I'm just saying that they aren't who you are any more than the particles of this morning's breakfast passing through you as you read this. You have around 60,000 thoughts each day. Don't get to attached to any of them, they'll be more enough to go around. If you're truly tuned in and listening to the group and a natural impulse arises to share a thought, then do it. Do so just as you might release gas from your intestines (though preferably, not in present company), unattached to how it's received and with full knowledge that this is something you no longer need to hold inside. How it lands and how it's used or not is no longer up to you.
View your unrefined impressions as ingredients in a recipe. When a group is heading into new territory in the pursuit of synergy, the path is unknown. Uncharted territory is unpredictable and at first, often indescribable. Your partially formed sensation or insight might be just the piece you or someone else needs to hear to formulate the next step. Sometimes your job is simply to express and to let others make sense of it.
Be curious about what's going to happen. New creations require physical, mental, and emotional space within which to emerge. Babies form in empty wombs, and artists often wander in creative and literal deserts before inspiration strikes. Thinking you know what's going to happen before you take action may tarnish your action. Unlearn the habit to have it all figured out before you act. Each step forward lends a new perspective. So let the action itself show you what's next.
If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right,
you'll probably never do much of anything.
Add Your Comments
Tell me what you think about unlearning blocks to synergy and/or what happened for you in practicing the inactions above. Please click on the Add Your Comments link above and share your thoughts, stories, and experiences. I'd love to hear from you!
This Week's Offer
at a Distance Teleclass...
The Essentials of
Virtual Meeting Facilitation
you considered offering a teleclass as a more efficient
way to deliver training, enhance group learning
and generate more income for your business? Or,
are you working with a distributed team that requires
you to design and facilitate virtual meetings?
done right, Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings (T/VM)
are very effective and inexpensive ways to train,
collaborate, and problem-solve. But if they aren't
effectively facilitated, T/VM's can be a boring
waste of time!
the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting
design and facilitation with this 5-day teleclass
series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials
of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation,
led by Steve Davis, Founder of FacilitatorU.com,
March 22nd-26th, 2009, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern
60 minutes each day.
This class covers all the elements of T/VM facilitation
using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach.
This course, that you can take from the comfort
of your own home or office, is for facilitators,
trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant,
engaging, experiential workshops for groups using
a simple, proven formula that's easy to apply to
any workshop topic.
Learn how to design and run a T/VM that will maximize
the use of your group's time and energy.
the end of the 5 days, you will:
learned the key skills needed to effectively
facilitate a Teleclass/Virtual Meeting.Know
how to balance interactivity with meeting
purpose. Become familiar with the 10 modes of delivering
learning and information in a virtual environment.Know mistakes to avoid when facilitating your
the 7 Keys to the Inner Game of T/VM Facilitation.
Click here for full details and registration
Become a FacilitatorU.com Premium member and purchase
these teleclasses for 50% off the regular price in addition to a host of other items and
benefits. An exceptional value. Click
here for details.
About the satisfaction
If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this package, simply
email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full
amount and we will do so immediately. This policy completely removes the
buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely